2 Dec 2014

A Christmas present for you

A couple of weeks ago a friend posted a couple of pages from Adventures with a Microscope on FaceBook. The pages were headed 'Useful Supplies for your Laboratory Table and Shelf', and she was looking for help in purchasing the items for her daughter.

I must say that it was a formidable list indeed.  Not only were the names of the reagents and chemicals archaic - things like caustic potash, chlorinated soda and xylol, some of them were downright dangerous, like chloroform (really), and most of them are impossible to purchase nowadays anyway, even if you wanted them.  Which it turns out you don't.

What I started out doing was to write a revised list of equipment and reagents for use with this book.  What I ended up with is a 20 page booklet that I've called An Introductory Guide for Adventuring Safely.  I've put it online at google docs, and if you would like a copy, you can download it from there and print it off.  Well, you can if I've done it right. Wry grin.

Just call it a Christmas present from me to you.

Ambleside Online has recently listed Adventures with a Microscope as part of its AO7 Science selections.  It is a wonderful book, written in engaging and informative literary language, and I''m excited to be using it with Jemimah next year. Hopefully this guide will allow you to join us safely.

As a caveat - I haven't yet used this book, so the guide is sure to change as we work through its pages.  My suggestions may not work, or we may find a better way of doing certain things.  I'll be sure to let you know if and when that happens.

Merry Christmas!


  1. Oooh, let us know if you find "fake coffee". Riley wanted to do that one but all the coffee we had was real. I suggested that maybe there were regulations that came into place since the writing of the book preventing the sale of it?

  2. Thank you! We are using the book this year, I'm sure this will be useful ;)

  3. I found you from Brandy's blog. Thank you for this! Would you be able to make a recommendation for a good basic microscope for use with this book. A link to one on Amazon would be most helpful! Thanks! Julie

  4. There are some good recommendations for microscopes on the AO forum, Julie. I was given our microscope,so I've never had to buy one. You're looking for a high school standard compound microscope.

  5. thank you!! we're two thirds of the way through y7 with my oldest, but there are several more kids in the wings, and your tips will help us enjoy these experiments a lot more.


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